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Comment: Who cares who is paying for fundamental research? (Score 1) 103

by pavon (#48941627) Attached to: Mathematicians Uncomfortable With Ties To NSA, But Not Pulling Back

From the article most of the spending is on things that are beneficial to society as a whole, not just NSA. These include K-12 funding for science fairs, math clubs, and STEM summer camps. Unless the NSA is influencing these in harmful ways, such as pushing ideology beyond the normal "if you do well in school, you could do cool spy work for us" recruiting I don't see a problem with taking their money. Same for the research grants and conferences, which all result in publicly published fundamental research, that help the entire cryptographic and big data communities as a whole. The only program I would have a problem with are any classified research and the sabbaticals to do classified work at the NSA.

Comment: Re:The fuzzy line between hobby and job (Score 1) 216

The taxes collected are a redistribution of wealth from automobile drivers to truckers because trucks cause FAR MORE than four times the damage.

This is about the fourth time I've had to spell this out for you. Instead of reflexively reaching for your keyboard, start at the top of the previous paragraph and READ. IT. AGAIN. until it sinks in. If that's even possible for you.

You're also high if you think that the total tax and borrowed money spent on roads in this country is anywhere near covered by fuel taxes and fees.

Comment: Re:Government Intervention (Score 1) 451

by Sique (#48935329) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?
You are argueing as if it was either existing ISPs or a government-run (municipal) ISP. Why can't they coexist? That's what happens here around. I can get the Internet connection from the local utility (which is basicly a municipal ISP), I can get it from the former telco monopolist, or I can get it from numerous other privately owned ISPs, of which some are just resellers of lines of others.

What we have is only the governmental mandate that an ISP with a local monopoly of lines has to offer capacity on the last mile to other ISPs in a non-discriminatory manner. That's all. Thus about every ISP is potentially able to offer his product everywhere. If he is not present with its own lines, they can be rented from the local monopolist or quasi-monopolist. Problem solved.

Comment: Re:The fuzzy line between hobby and job (Score 1) 216

Only four times as many fees so they can base their whole living off of socialist government entitlements is a joke.

And it's an established fact that trucks cause orders of magnitude as much damage as cars. Not four times. Face it, you're just wrong.

Comment: Re:The fuzzy line between hobby and job (Score 1) 216

Math: Can you even understand it?

Truck axle weight limit: 20,000 lb per axle.

Prius axle weight: 1600 lb per axle

Road damage is proportional to (20,000 / 1,600) ^ 4, or 24,400:1.

So the truck should pay $8,000,000 per year if the prius pays $328. Obviously, the Prius is getting overcharged and the truck undercharged.

Comment: Re: just put a motor on the elevator itself (Score 5, Interesting) 247

by pavon (#48920551) Attached to: Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

No, you could use a conductive rail, like a subway, and rack and pinion system to move the elevator. The rack and rail would add a fair bit more total weight to the building compared to a cable. But more importantly, the motors would have to be much much more powerful! Modern elevator systems have a counter-weight balanced on the other side of that cable, which means the motor only has to overcome friction and the small difference in weight between the elevator and counterweight (which varies depending on current payload). The motor on an elevator like Noah is suggesting would have to provide enough force to counteract the entire weight of the elevator + payload + motor + friction, which is at least an order of magnitude more than a traditional elevator.

Comment: Re:The fuzzy line between hobby and job (Score 1) 216

Your entire elaborate argument is based on a false premise.

As I said, the road damage is exponential with the weight. It is proportional to the axle weight to the fourth power.

Fuel economy is roughly linear with weight, or even less than linear (big rigs get much better MPG per ton than smaller vehicles). Therefore, fuel taxes don't begin to recover the extra costs of heavier vehicles.

Who has made the stupidest argument you've ever heard now? You might look in the mirror.

Comment: Re:The fuzzy line between hobby and job (Score 2) 216

Your hypotheses that road damage is caused solely by the pressure on the top few millimeters of the road is highly questionable. The Prius is not going to be pounding down through the structure of the concrete nearly as much as your super-duty pickup hauling a huge boat.

I do agree that big rigs should be paying drastically more in fees than they do. However, industry lobbyists will always trump common sense.

Comment: Re:Not a fan (Score 2) 304

by Waffle Iron (#48893551) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

You need to go watch a local SCCA race. Lifting the inside rear wheel is normal.

Normal in a race.

Several makers, like VW and Mazda, even show their cars doing that in their ads.

"Closed course. Professional driver. Do not attempt."

On my Honda [yadda yadda rant rant]

Looks like you need to get a bumper sticker with Calvin pissing on a Honda.

Moneyliness is next to Godliness. -- Andries van Dam